Vikings - Wolves of Midgard

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Vikings - Wolves of Midgard Game Poster Image
Tech issues hinder violent, engaging action-adventure.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive messages

Saving world sounds noble, but so much carnage takes away from positive message.

Positive role models & representations

You play as a warrior who sets out to save the world. But to do so, you hack, slash through thousands of enemies, bringing their blood to an altar for extra powers. 

Ease of play

Simple controls; easy to learn.

Violence

Violent, bloody, gory play. Using might or magic, you maim, kill, dismember, decapitate humans, fantastical enemies. You'll see reward text on-screen, such as "Double Kill! +16 Blood"; can use blood at an altar to become more powerful. Some environments littered with corpses, tortured bodies, large pools of blood.

Sex

Some scenes show female creature with exposed breasts.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Vikings - Wolves of Midgard is an action-role-playing game (RPG). The game has plenty of violence, blood, and gore. Players can use weapons (like swords, axes, hammers, and bows) and magic to kill many thousands of creatures and humans. Blood can be kept and sacrificed at altars to appease the gods and gain extra powers. Some scenes show piles of corpses. The game also shows a female creature with exposed breasts.

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What's it about?

VIKINGS - WOLVES OF MIDGARD tells of the start of Ragnarok -- the war to end the world -- prompted when the coldest winter descends and the Jotan, the giants of the Outyards, take their vengeance against the gods of Asgard. But when the Jotan begin to unite the Fire and Frost Giants under one flag, they cross paths with an outcast clan of Vikings called the Ulfung, the Wolf Clan, which is where you come in. Played out on the Shores of Midgard, this dark, mythological world has you running around from an angled top-down ("isometric") view, using weapons and magic to defeat human enemies, creatures, and giants. Depending on the class of fighter you choose to play as, you’ll rely on huge dual hammers, double axes, bows, giant longswords, and spells to push through the huge environments and try to stop the end of the world from happening. You'll use blood from the fallen to upgrade your weapons, and you’ll also unlock new abilities to defeat a rising tide of vicious enemies. The game includes both a single-player campaign and optional online co-op.

Is it any good?

This enjoyable action-RPG "lite" game can be a fun time for you and friends, so long as you can overlook some of its technical issues. Vikings - Wolves of Midgard borrows the look and feel of Blizzard Entertainment’s dungeon-crawling Diablo series, while also folding in a deep leveling system, Norse mythology, tough boss characters, and plenty of unadulterated gore. This dark adventure is accessible -- even for those fairly new to the genre -- as you simply choose a character class (each of the characters specializes in a different weapon), take on various missions from village people, follow along (mostly) large maps to reach your goal, and engage in real-time combat sequences against swaths of human enemies and creatures big and small. Battling foes might seem like "button mashing" at first but will require more thought as you advance through the game, including when to use a ranged approach instead of a melee attack, retreating and reentering the fight, taking health boosts, and powering up your weapon of choice (by collecting blood from fallen enemies) before tackling a troupe of tough wolves or goblins. Plus, you don't have to go alone; Vikings - Wolves of Midgard offers an online cooperative (co-op) option, where more than one class can team up and play together throughout each quest.

Visually, the game isn't bad, with detailed fighters, enemies, locations, special effects, weather (such as snowy mountains), and lighting enhancements, but the animation sometimes looks stiff or silly, and the environments are repeated often (a frozen/snowy look). Dramatic slow-motion effects often kick in when you're taking out groups of enemies and earning a "double kill" bonus or chained hits streak. But probably the biggest issue with the game is the predictable enemy AI (artificial intelligence) or lack thereof, so it can be somewhat boring to fight through. Plus, the camera can sometimes obscure your view of a band of baddies, making it harder to fight enemies. Overall, the game isn't a home run, but it's pretty entertaining. Vikings - Wolves of Midgard will likely satiate Diablo gamers, fans of top-down action RPG genre, and those who enjoy Norse mythology.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Could the game have kept the core flavor -- single-player and co-op-action RPG fun -- without having so much carnage and gore? Or is the violence, blood, and gore what gamers want?

  • Talk about mythology. Does the Norse setting make you interested in the myths of Vikings? Are you intrigued by the setting of the game?

Game details

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